How do you prepare diplomats for their jobs? And what does that mean for diplomatic training?
In Tunisia, at the Institute Diplomatique pour la Formation et les Études, these questions are being raised even as the 1997-founded institute is preparing for a major transition. Under construction: a new building, near to the MFA, which is to provide the IDFE with the new facilities that it needs to achieve a considerable expansion of its mission and activities. The plans for this new diplomatic academy have been approved, and the foundations have been laid. Construction has already started. Yet the transition that is envisioned by the Tunisian Ministry of Foreign Affairs goes beyond the brick-and-mortar. There will be new training groups, new topics to be taught, and new demands upon trainers and participants both. These represent challenges and opportunities for innovation in curriculum development, in training methods; even in longer-term institutional management. The Clingendael Academy, therefore, is offering its expertise in diplomatic training, and offering a consultancy and capacity building partnership to assist the IDFE in making the successful transition from a more limited training centre to a full diplomatic Academy.
In the first of a series of three workshops, delivered by Mr. Nils de Mooij, we focused on the design and use of interactive exercises and challenges in curriculum development.
Discussions with a highly experienced group of diplomats working as lecturers and staff members at the IDFE ranged from classroom interaction to niche training, to how to accommodate the (knowledge) needs of junior diplomats in the post-revolutionary environment.
Trainer and group built on the vast collective experience in diplomacy that the participants possessed, and linked their experience to the latest insights in diplomatic training from the Clingendael Academy, as well as best practices worldwide.
By the end of the three days, the IDFE had gotten a lot closer to answering those two essential questions: How to prepare a diplomat for their job? And what does that mean for our approach to diplomatic training?
With two more workshops planned to be delivered by Clingendael Academy Director Mr. Ron Ton (on institutional management and strategic development, as well international negotiations training) and Dr. Marianne Rogier (zooming in on the post-revolutionary aspects of the IDFE´s challenge), Clingendael is commited to help the IDFE and the Tunisian Ministry of Foreign Affairs build a new Diplomatic Academy for Tunisia.
18 February 2015